Co-ops Are Here To Stay

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As long as there are coops that are succeeding and prospering, I have hope that co-ops are here to stay. I have hope that they are a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. There are already proofs that it can be done and the proofs are convincing. Reaching a hundred million and then a billion asset, it has been done. The co-ops are flexing their economic muscles and making an impact in the lives of ordinary members and in the communities. These co-ops are being talked about as they contribute to the development of these places. Even local political leaders can’t help but notice the phenomenal growth of co-ops in their localities.

The trail has been blazed and more and more co-ops are right there at the doorsteps of economic and social breakthroughs. You will be surprised that when a co-op is managed well, it grows and it can grow very, very fast. And as they diversify their services and businesses, the growth and success of these co-ops, accelerates.  Although the effect of the pandemic in the economy is devastating, co-ops are resilient enough to restart and make the wheels of progress turning again in the right direction, at least in their own backyard. In fact, some co-ops never stopped operation during the lockdown. They even released their own SAP or the Social Amelioration Program, to their members and provided basic necessities for the front liners.

The last thing we need today is individualism. Just like the prehistoric days, where hunters go in groups in order to subdue gigantic, fierce and strong beasts, we need to unite and join forces economically to conquer a formidable enemy – poverty and lack, especially in the countryside. That is why a co-op is defined as a collective organization where all the members voluntarily contribute to the capital to pursue a common business goal.

Things never changed since since those early days  thousands of years ago. Doing things together has been proven to be successful at whatever endeavor we attempt to do, may it be in business or in sports even in politics. You cannot win by playing one on one in a team sport. You may snatch a win but not all the time.  The prehistoric hunters go out to hunt in groups with a common objective, to bring home the bacon, so to speak, that will feed their wives, children and the whole settlement. Nobody goes hungry. That’s why they survived ! And that’s what a co-op is supposed to be.

There are people who still don’t believe in co-operatives because they fail to understand the basic principle in the joining of hands or unity and cooperation. You see, when you join a co-operative or any organization for that matter, you need to set aside your personal agenda and motives. You ego and pride should submit to the will of the majority. These are the viruses that infects any organization that if not properly addressed and treated, causes companies and co-ops to fall.

There are also people who think co-operativism doesn’t work because they probably have some bad experiences in the past that turned them off or when they see people managing or working inside the organization are doing things detrimental to the group. However, these unwanted acts of a few people doesn’t change the fact that co-operatives in general work for the good of everybody.

I repeat, as long as there co-ops who are succeeding, there is a reason to celebrate this October. This month is the Co-operative Month. To all co-ops officers, members, advocates and enthusiasts,  happy co-operative month celebration.

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